Chapter 39: A test to be recognised

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“Enter.” → Shen

I didn’t even look at the door because I was too preoccupied with analyzing and verifying the papers.

“…”

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The person opened the door and entered. She stepped lightly inside and sneaked at my back. With lovely white arms, she embraced my head while gently caressing my face.

“Shen, is already late. Let’s go to sleep, yes?” → Sylvia

Her lovely voice sounded beside my ear.

I turned around and invited her to sit down on the chair beside me.

“What happened? You can’t sleep?” → Shen

Sylvia looked down while she was holding her arms around my neck, refusing to sit down.

“Shen…the dream you just told us about… Is fake, right? You had no such dream…” → Sylvia

Sylvia looked at me with a worried gaze.

Haah… You must have felt it at that time. Thank you for not telling to anyone… You know why I lied, right?” → Shen

“Yes, it was so you can calm everyone down, right? But what about the end that’s about to come? Will we really have to die again in the same war then be separated for another number of lives…?” → Sylvia

Sylvia almost felt like crying when she remembered how she and I got separated in the last war, unable to meet again for God knows how many lives.

“No…I won’t permit it. One thing was true from what I told you all, and that was nobody but me can know my future.” → Shen

I said with a firm face, making Sylvia surprised for a second.

“On earth, there was an old man who was able to talk with spirits and see the future. He foresaw me being incapacitated after a vein exploded in my head from the pressure of being different. My childhood was quite stressful because of all the weird things happening to me… When I heard that, I knew that if I wanted to survive and have a good life, then I first need to stop screwing around and start disciplining myself. After that, I started taking meditation and martial arts more seriously. I was only 15 at that time, but the idea of living my life in a wheelchair for the rest of my life terrified me. He foresaw me at the age of 17 being in a hospital already, but nothing of such a thing happened. At the age of 18, I was still punching the bag and started feeling the mana around. He was the strongest Seer in the entire country and everything he said always happened but I refused to believe I couldn’t change my destiny. In the end, I did it. The same is now, I will make that fake dream will become true…” → Shen

I wanted to say some more but I feared of worrying Sylvia again.

Even at the price of my life, I won’t let such calamities break out in this world. → Shen

I thought for myself, but it was quite the useless try.

I heard that. → Sylvia

Suddenly, I heard Sylvia’s voice inside my head.

And I won’t permit it. I’ll come with you wherever you go, even at death’s doorsteps, understood? I won’t let you leave me behind again! → Sylvia

The voice was pained and rushed.

“Eh?” → Shen

I was sure I made a mental barrier around my mind. → Shen

“Do you think such little tricks will work against me? A Seer? Think again.” → Sylvia

Sylvia said with a neutral face. She then grabbed my arm and pulled me toward the bed.

“You’re too tired after all, so is better to sleep.” → Sylvia

“Huh?” → Shen

A saint was tired only after weeks of not being able to sleep and needing to fight for his life like I did last time. Having none of these happening to me lately, I was feeling, more or less, full of energy.

“Lay down.” → Sylvia

Sylvia looked at me coldly and commanded me to sit. I shivered a little then did what she wanted.

“…”

She seems pretty angry, I think I better just do what she wants for now. → Shen

“…Please just think more about yourself from now own…nobody told you to sacrifice yourself.” → Sylvia

She then turned off the lights from the crystals and laid down beside me, embracing me while lying down beside me.

…What are you saying now? When have I ever-… → Shen

I asked confused then saw that she actually fell asleep tired while holding me tightly.

I looked at her sleeping face, I knew that all the tiredness she felt was mostly because of the worry and anxiety of the future. I kissed her lips and whispered.

“No need for worries, if bad turns to worst, I’ll just need to use something else then.” → Shen

I said so while taking out an old book. While Sylvia was sleeping, I was reading the spell I tried to evade as much as possible. Late at night after finishing, I fell asleep almost instantly.

.

[Young mortal, why thou hast knowledge from teh Universal Knowledge?]

In front of me, there was a huge entity that looked like a sea dragon but with huge fins and seal-like limbs.

“You…are you the Leviathan?”

I was shocked by the monstrously huge beast in front of me and felt my face drain of any color.

[Answer to mine question, young mortal. Why thou hast knowledge of teh Hidden Book?]

“What knowledge?… Now that I think about it, you are one of the 2 guardians who protect the mythological knowledge from the hands of those unworthy, right? And may I ask about what knowledge are you referring? I know a lot of stuff a normal human couldn’t even think about.”

I felt the oppression from the mighty guardian beast but I couldn’t back down, I needed to know what he or she was talking about.

[I feel traces of ‘Dragonic Materialization’ and ‘One with the Universe’ from thee. Such knowledge must not stay in thy mortal’s hands. Is too dangerous for every living being on this planet.]

That Old Shu! From where did he got these skills?! Even the mythological guardians are now after me!

“…An old friend named Shu was able to discover the sets of skills…he then gave them to me.”

You can’t lie to the primordial beasts. They’ll be able to tell a lie from the truth like breathing air.

[Aah~ yes, I and mine companion gave free access to that mortal. But. Thus passing such knowledge to someone else is a grave sin and thee arst not acknowledged by mine authority. Until thee pass mine test, thy has prohibition from knowing such “truth”.]

“W-what?!”

I suddenly felt like I forgot something. It was the way to activate the two skills and even the new one I learned.

“You!…very well! What’s your test and how we can I finish it?!”

[The test is about confronting thee sins. For thy, it appears ‘Lust’ hast lost. Thee will go from the weakest to the strongest. The next is ‘Sloth’. May thee show passable results, mortal.]

His grave, old and powerful voice boomed in the dream then he disappeared.

“…I must inform Ryu about this.”

The next day when everyone woke up, it was already the middle of the day and I was still sleeping. Inside my soul, there was a huge fight I never thought of having.

I can’t move!

I felt all my limbs unable to move like the blood was sucked from them. My spirit was retracted from my body and my mind started to turn into mud.

T-this is Sloth? And the weakest?! God…I’m afraid of what ‘Pride’ will be like.

I already knew what my strongest sin is. I hate being looked down by others, I hate accepting help from others and I want to be on top of the world. I always knew my Sin and I always embraced it, helping me to go forth through my life.

“Shen? Why aren’t you getting up yet? Are you sick?” → Sylvia

Sylvia entered my room and felt something wasn’t right. From my heart, she felt how it pulsated slower than normal and had close to zero vitality like I was in a coma but at the same time, full of health.

“Shen! I can see an aura like mud inside you! Who poisoned you?” → Sylvia

Sylvia was shocked and rushed by my side.

Sloth is one of the deadly sins exactly because it has such hidden effects, barely understandable. Sloth is the effect of having ones spirit retracted inside the body. Such things happen when someone overworks himself and takes a pause to relax, later to feel like he’s unable to go back to work, feeling his spirit decreasing day by day. If it goes to the extreme, someone might die of being too lazy to even forget to drink or eat something or from sitting too much in one place, fermenting in their own juice, dying later from different kinds of diseases made from being too passive. Such inactivity slows the mind and the reflexes, making one feel like his body is excessively heavy to even lift a finger.

“Sylvia…I think I will need some time for meditation. After I’m done with this problem, I’ll come and teach Theo what he needs to do. Don’t worry, I have everything under control.” → Shen

I said barely lifting my head.

S**t, my mind is muddy and the idea of getting up from the bed is so unappealing it makes me cry… Not only that, but it feels a lot like sleep paralysis? This is terrifying. → Shen

“Uh. Alright, if you say so, please get better fast.” → Sylvia

Sylvia got up then turned around to leave. She looked one more time at me before leaving the room.

I then sat in a meditation position and started to fasten the circulation of my blood and chi. I found out there is something like a black mist inside my body.

Hmm…so this is Sloth? God…it looks like ‘death Chi’ stopping the life-energy from circulating, putting someone in a position closer to death rather than alive…A nasty mist all right. → Shen

I tried to eject it from my body but just like with Lust, it grabbed on my heart not wishing to get separated.

What the-?! For ‘Sloth’ you are quite persistent!

After I used some more soul-power, I got it out and placed it close to Lust.

I might need it for later~.

Never throw anything that seems useful, even if it might kill you. After I finished my problem with Sloth, I contacted Ryu.

Man, how are you? → Shen

Jesus Christ! What was that laziness just now?! I couldn’t even get up from bed! I had to put my blood and chi in circulation by asking Bonny to throw cold water on me! Holy! is cold! → Ryu

By changing the temperature of the body from hot to cold in a blink of a moment your body will circulate the chi and blood subconsciously to warm it before any organs are damaged. This is not really recommended for the ones with different kinds of problems but…Ryu is a monster so such things will not affect him one bit.

‘…You’re really creative, what can I say.’ → Shen

I laughed then continued.

That was ‘Sloth’, one of the Seven Deadly sins. Didn’t you dream about any huge turtle at night? → Shen

Yeah I did, it was the Behemoth of the desserts…how can a living creature be so huge? On his back, there were chains of mountains and it touched the skies with ease. That was stupidly huge. → Ryu

Ryu said with amazement.

Yeah. The Behemoth and the Leviathan are the guardians of the hidden knowledge, left behind by the primordial beings for the humans who are evolved enough to be able to use them wisely. This knowledge is hidden under the seas, the dessert and in space. As for the guardian of the sky, I have no idea who he is, yet. → Shen

Wah! How do you know this? And what kind of knowledge is that? → Ryu

I know from some books back home. And the knowledge is something like the Akashic book from our world. Of course is not literally a book so don’t get confused by that. Knowledge can take any form so is a mystery how that ‘book’ looks like, if is in a material state in the first place. → Shen

I see, I don’t really understand but I think I got it about what that weird ‘knowledge’ is all about, and this test…wait. So I still have to go for six more? → Ryu

Ryu asked with some anxiety.

Yes, they go from the weakest to the strongest, it seems your weakest was Sloth. → Shen

Which one was the first for you? → Ryu

Lust. → Shen

Ryu then fell quiet with an awkward silence.

…Man? Why are you suddenly so quiet? → Shen

I felt some kind of embarrassment from what he wished to say.

…You know…I don’t wish to assault Bonny when Lust’s turn comes, I don’t think she’ll mind it but I don’t want our first to be like that, so~…Think I should simply just ‘beat my meat’ and be done with it? → Ryu

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I slipped and hit the floor head first cracking the wooden floor in a spider-web form. I got up while trying to calm my throbbing temples then answered.

You can’t do that…you’ll fan the flames of Lust even more. Just try to personify Lust and the other sins in your head while meditating then beat their asses outside your mind and heart. All that while keeping your composure so you won’t harm the ones around you, got it? → Shen

I tried to make it as simple as possible. To do it the way I did, one needs control over his Soul-energy and Ryu still didn’t know how to use it properly.

Ahaha~… alright, thanks for the tips. → Ryu

After laughing awkwardly, he closed the connection.

“…Yes. I had to teach Theo how to control himself after acquiring more power.” → Shen

I tried to forget the conversation from before and rushed into Theo’s room to teach him how to use the power he now has.

At night, I had another dream with the Leviathan.

[Thee did well with Sloth. Brace thyself, next is Envy. Stay strong, mortal]

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Ejaz
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i really hate this test thing in almost every novel. what worthy person, there are no worthy person the person that made those knowledge himself is not worthy. why create forbidden knowledge then. when you want worthy person. evil can became good and good can became evil, history is filled with these kind of story / legends. every God (i think) are not perfect. example we humans, we were created as a knowledgeable and wise creatures whom will rule every other creature as pure and kind . that was the idea but what happens exact opposite. so these test are… Read more »

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